After a fun experience on Nov. 22, the Academics Plus boys basketball team returned to reality this week.
On that Friday, Nov. 22, the Falcons (6-3, 1-2 A-5 North) played Pangburn in an afternoon contest at the Memphis Grizzlies’ FedExForum. Ultimately, it ended up being more of an exhibition contest, but Coach John Harrison and the Falcons are glad for the experience.
"Their coach and I agreed to play everybody in the first half," Harrison said. "In the second half, we were going to play a straight-up game. But with six minutes left and down by seven, the administration told us we had to be off the court by 4:30. We were told there would be a running clock and no timeouts could be called. At that point, there was no way for us to come back if we couldn’t stop the clock. Afterward, both coaches agreed to not count the game."
The girls’ game prior to the Academics Plus’ game went longer than anticipated, and the Grizzlies played the San Antonio Spurs that night. Harrison said it still was a great time.
"The neatest thing is we got to stand around for the NBA shoot around," he said. "We were within arm’s reach of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan."
Monday night, the Falcons traveled to Atkins and lost 59-34. Last night, they faced Lisa Academy West in a conference matchup and also host Wonderview for a conference game Friday. Thursday, they compete in the Nemo Vista tournament and play the winner of Clinton and Shirley.
(Monday night) It was not pretty," Harrison said. "We missed a lot of layups and couldn’t defend. Atkins is a physical team with all football players. We aren’t used to that physicalness, and they had their way inside with us."
That performance reaffirmed for Harrison that Academics Plus needs to become tougher. He knows his team needs to get powerful and have a stronger inside presence. He says if the Falcons let the ball inside and they can’t defend then they can’t win.
Harrison believes the contest against Wonderview will give him a true measure of where his team is in the A-5 North.
"They are probably the best in the conference," he said. "I think we can play with them and match up well with them."